News roundup: November 30, 2013
Here are a few thoughts about recent Canadian political stories (in no particular order).
Liberal spin on the Toronto Centre by-election
Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have been falsely claiming they ran a wholly positive campaign in the Toronto Centre by-election, and that this is why they beat the “angry” and “negative” New Democratic Party (NDP).
First, the Liberals did go negative during that campaign, including distributing a flyer that was a personal attack against NDP leader Tom Mulcair. When called on it, the dishonest Liberals cynically claimed that the personal attack was not (Read more…)
Hope and Hard Work has become the oft-repeated Liberal mantra under Justin Trudeau. And it can also be used to describe where the Liberals find themselves after Monday’s by-elections: with a little more hope, and a lot more hard work ahead of them. The hope: with significant gains in vote and margin across the board in four ridings, including two where the Liberals weren’t on the map in 2011, it’s clear the Liberal momentum under Trudeau is for real. The hard work: to the extent they may have been holding their powder, the gloves are going to come off now (Read more…)
Dear Liberal Friends,
This weekend is the LPC(O) Policy Prioritization Meeting & Executive Board. You will be asked to prioritize 10 policy resolutions for debate at the Liberal Party of Canada Biennial in Montreal. It’s an impressive list of great ideas, showcasing clearly what Liberals care about.
On that list, is the policy resolution to Protect the Pickering Lands prioritized by Central Region.
In 1972, the federal government expropriated 18,000 acres of farmland for a proposed new Toronto international airport. In the face of mounting local pressure and opposition from residents, the project was shelved in 1975.
On June 11, (Read more…)
Excited that the Ajax-Pickering Federal Liberal Association has approved the policy proposal to protect the Pickering Lands.
This policy was developed in consultation with Land Over Landings and is an example of how the Liberal Party develops policy with support from local community groups.
I was happy to play a role in connecting the group with the Liberal Party and having this important group of extremely engaged and passionate citizens’ views reflected within the party.
More importantly, this is a first step to protecting important natural and agricultural lands and bringing more attention to an important issue that impacts all (Read more…)
Four federal by-elections have been called for Nov. 25th, including in Toronto Centre. While a new poll shows the Liberals comfortably ahead, I think it’s going to be a real battle. And so does NDP candidate Linda McQuaig, judging by the gambit she launched this weekend. McQuaig is challenging Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland to a one-on-one debate on income inequality, a topic they’ve both written about at some length. Such a debate would exclude every other party running in this election, such as the Green Party and, oh yeah, the folks with a majority government that are (Read more…)
It’s always fun when a friend throws their hat in the political ring, and so it was an honour Sunday to venture up to Aurora as Jason Cherniak launched his campaign for the federal Liberal nomination in the newly created riding of Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill. Over 100 people were in hand for the Sunday afternoon launch, and Jason had a pretty impressive lineup of speakers on hand to support his campaign. Among them were Oak-Ridges-Markham MPP and Ontario Liberal caucus chair Helena Jaczek, former Aurora Mayor Tim Jones, and former Richmond Hill MP Bryon Wilfert. Jason delivered a strong speech (Read more…)
On throne speech eve, I took part in a Liberal bloggers conference call with Dominic LeBlanc, MP for Beauséjour and Liberal house leader, where he discussed the party’s plans for the fall session of parliament and what we’re expecting from today’s speech from the throne. LeBlanc said the Liberals are open to supporting good legislation should it be brought forward by the government. He expects they’ve spent the summer preparing a whole raft of bills that will be put on notice for debate with Parliament’s return; the Liberals will want to scrutinize those closely. It will be a compressed (Read more…)
Check out Common Ground, and add your voice to protect the Pickering Lands and say no to Flaherty’s Folly International Airport.
The Conservative government in Canada wants to convert over 13,000 acres of prime farm land into an international airport (one that’s not needed) and for undisclosed industrial use.
While Common Ground is an initiative of the Ontario Liberal Party, you do not need to be a Liberal or an Ontarian to lend your voice to this important policy proposal.
The text of the proposal is as follows:
WHEREAS the designated lands for development constitute prime Class 1 farmland (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Right: Protect the Pickering Lands #onpoli #cdnpoli #NoPickeringAirport
The Harper government won’t deliver its speech from the throne until Wednesday, but the theme has been telegraphed for months, and much of the contents well-leaked over the past week. The government will appropriate the middle class theme that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has been trumpeting since he began his leadership run, and will appropriate several mini-policies the NDP has proposed over the years, including ones the Conservatives have voted against in the past. It’s time-worn political tactics to attempt to neuter the opposition by outflanking them, and the Conservatives are clearly concerned with the apparent durability of current Liberal (Read more…)
While the 2015 federal election is a long ways off (if Stephen Harper actually sticks to his fixed election date law, that is), in a sign of the strength and renewal of the Liberal Party of Canada, quality candidates are already beginning to come forward and begin organizing for what will likely be hotly contested nominations across the country.
Just to the south of me is the riding of Scarborough-Southwest, where my friend Amy Robichaud has recently announced her intention to seek the Liberal nomination to take on the NDP’s Dan Harris. The riding has a solid Liberal history, (Read more…)
A busy day in downtown Toronto on Sunday, as both the Liberals and the NDP picked their candidates to replace Bob Rae as the MP for Toronto-Centre at nomination meetings just a subway stop apart. It made for interesting comparisons, and I attendeed both meetings.
The Storify below shares some of the highlights of my live-tweeting and selected tweets by others, so I won’t rehash the entire day at length. Rather, I’ll share some thoughts on the result and, with respect to the other parties, the marquee match-up of the upcoming by-election: Liberal Chrystia Freeland and NDPer Linda McQuaig.
As (Read more…)
I’m a big proponent of open riding nominations. During the Liberal leadership race, I was proud when my candidate released an extensive party reform proposal including an open nomination process, and I was pleased when many of the other candidates – including the eventual winner, Justin Trudeau – joined us in supporting the concept of open nominations. I don’t know enough of what’s going on in Toronto-Centre to comment on that process. I know Justin has promised open and fair nominations, and I know the party membership believes that open nominations are important to the renewal of our party. So (Read more…)
It’s interesting how selective the United States can be about weapons of mass destruction given that the U.S. continues to be responsible for widespread death and destruction from its own chemical and nuclear weapons.
The gas that Obama-Kerry are blaming on Assad appears to have killed somewhere between a few hundred and a thousand or more Syrians.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the locals are left to live with the radiation hazard created by American depleted uranium (DU) shells and bullets. D.U. is known to cause cancers, birth defects and stillbirths and D.U. contamination is believed to (Read more…)
More polls to talk about today. First, two-thirds of Canadians who were polled disapprove of Prime Minister proroguing Parliament in Sept and waiting until late October to reconvene Parliament.
As I said in my blogpost just the other day, this is probably the most “conventional” use of proroguing Parliament (or intending to prorogue, as he hasnt formally asked for it yet) that Harper has done while in government, and it’s ironic that on the more conventional type of prorogue, Harper’s getting massive disapproval of his intent to use it again.. but I guess that’s what you get when you abuse (Read more…)
Ok, point made. Moving on, Canadians have far more important issues to consider than legalizing marijuana. Let us not keep gilding the cannabis. Sure the news media are always in a rut with their questions but there is certainly more exciting news. What about the way Prime Minister Harper is saying things in the high Arctic unchallenged by a responsible opposition. You cannot allow him free rein up there to destroy peoples’ lives and livelihoods.
But we are also concerned about the current process Canadian Liberals are using to develop their policy options. Where are the open discussions taking place? (Read more…)
Turns out the Young Liberals at the University of Calgary is seen as an organization of real influence by the US State Department. Below is a quote from Wikileaks that talks about how the UofC Liberals were able to influence the policy of the party and shake up a whole other party. 6. (SBU) The […]
A week later and my news clippings are still filled with news about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s sensible talk about marijuana legalization – and they say it’s hard for an opposition leader to get attention in the summer, when the House isn’t sitting… The Conservatives are helping keep the issue alive with the usual fear-mongery fundraising pitch warning of Liberal-inspired reefer madness and the breakdown of civil society should we not continued with the spectacular failure that has been the war on drugs. Here’s what they fear the future would look like:
Ironically, these distortion-filled, fear-mongery fundraising pitches designed to (Read more…)
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s support of marijuana legalization and regulation made news this week, although it isn’t really new. He spoke about his position during the leadership race, but it made a bit of news again this week when he spoke about it in Kelowna during his well-received summer tour of British Columbia. Here are his comments: “I see my friend waving a sign about decriminalizing cannabis. I’ll take that as a question. I’m actually not in favour of decriminalizing cannabis – I’m in favour of legalizing it. Tax and regulate. It’s one of the only ways to keep it (Read more…)
Canada is an un-developing country.
It has been for decades. Here are some of the signs.
* Crumbling infrastructure.
* Irresponsible deregulation of industry and cutbacks to enforcement of the few, weak regulations that remain. This resulted – and will continue to result – in otherwise-preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses; worse working conditions; lower wages; and lowly consumers being ripped off.
* Electoral fraud, bribes and other types of corruption being grudgingly accepted as “business as usual”.
* Bizarre, expensive and unnecessary transformation of Canada back into a colony that is subservient to foreign interests, specifically (Read more…)
In a stunning upset of “Dewey Defeats Truman” proportions, the BC Liberals have defied all the polls save one and returned to power with a fourth straight majority government. No doubt, there will be much soul searching and wound licking over the coming weeks. I believe that five lessons — real, imagined, and not-quite-clear — will be gleaned from the experience.
1. Proceed with caution when predicting the future.
In last year’s US Presidential election, statistician Nate Silver made fools out of all those television pundits who privileged “gut feeling” over quantitative analysis. But sometimes even the data geeks get (Read more…)
Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in BC
I think Gordon Gibson’s take in the Globe & Mail on the vote-shifting caused by the position-shifting of Dix in the last week of the campaign is the most plausible explanation of why the polls were so different from the actual results:
The NDP looked way ahead before voters went to the polls in British Columbia. Then it all changed. Why? One word: “Pipelines.” Or more precisely, two: “Kinder Morgan.”
Until two weeks ago it was the election of the NDP’s Adrian Dix to lose.
Then he got greedy. Worried (Read more…)
This morning I saw a few minutes of a CBC Newsworld political panel and again concluded that Canada must abolish its senate immediately. Abolish it now! There is no time for messing about.
The dishonourable, fraud-committing senate serves no legitimate purpose in this day and age, and it’s debatable whether it ever did. The unelected, patronage-appointed, archaic institution is an insult to democracy; costs us an obscene amount of tax money; and provides a bad example to young Canadians that crime does pay. It is nothing but a den of Liberal and Conservative crooks and liars living high on the (Read more…)
Received an email this morning; Liberal leader Justin Trudeau “has a message for me.” And a few million other people, but whatevs. Here it is:
Much discussion in the online world about the clothing tastes of casual Justin. The suit and tie pundit crowd seem confused or annoyed. I think it’s fine, but neither of us are the target audience. The Canadians that probably didn’t wear a suit and tie while enjoying 20 degree summer weather last weekend are, and I’ll let them draw their own conclusions.
If there’s anything that annoys me about this video, its that whoever (Read more…)
I just took a gander at the Elections Canada databases to see the current state of the Green Party EDA`s. Like them or not, the Green Party remains a factor, and their 2015 campaign will play a role in determining the outcome of the 2015 election. I have a couple of general observations to make, and I have to say that the Green Party has some very impressive strengths, and some very telling weaknesses. It will sound like I am talking out of both sides of my mouth, but I will demonstrate why I expect that the GPC will have (Read more…)
In the very few weeks since Justin Trudeau was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, there have been some pretty big things going on. I guess the most obvious, and I mean IN YOUR FACE obvious is the launch millions of dollars worth of ‘attack ads’ by the Conservatives, and the launch of a million dollar ‘anti-attack’ ad by the Trudeau Liberals. We have all been treated to a phenomena that we have seen time and again. scads of
It’s Off To Work We Go
instant communications ‘experts’ opine on whether one ad or another is ‘working’, and (Read more…)